EPA’s long-awaited guidelines cracking down on oil and fuel methane will debut at the moment in Glasgow, Scotland, forming the centerpiece of a U.S. offensive in opposition to the second-most essential greenhouse fuel.
The proposed guidelines will cowl new and current infrastructure throughout the petroleum provide chain—together with manufacturing, processing, storage and transmission.
The administration has chosen the United Nations summit, referred to as COP 26, because the backdrop for the rollout of a broader methane initiative that features the EPA draft guidelines plus actions by the departments of Power, the Inside, Housing and City Growth, and different businesses.
At present is “methane day” on the U.N. local weather convention in Scotland’s largest metropolis.
“As international leaders convene at this pivotal second in Glasgow for COP26, it’s now abundantly clear that America is again and main by instance in confronting the local weather disaster with daring ambition,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan mentioned in an announcement.
Regan is one in every of 12 senior administration officers who will journey to the convention with President Biden, who rounds out his two-day go to at the moment.
Biden used his tackle yesterday within the convention’s plenary corridor to trumpet renewed U.S. local weather management, together with spearheading with the European Union the so-called World Methane Pledge. Administration officers advised reporters yesterday that 90 nations have now signed as much as reduce their emissions from a wide range of sources 30 % by 2030.
“The U.S. is exhibiting the best way right here by way of methane reductions,” mentioned a senior administration official.
This isn’t the primary time EPA has regulated oil and fuel methane, however these guidelines are extra aggressive and complete.
The Obama EPA promulgated a rule in 2016 that coated methane emissions from new sources throughout the oil and fuel provide chain. However at the moment’s package deal for the primary time covers oil and fuel infrastructure that predates 2015. These sources contribute the overwhelming majority of the sector’s methane emissions.
The 2-rule package deal goes a lot additional than a Trump-era alternative commonplace for brand new manufacturing and processing operations solely, and which was thrown out in court docket and eliminated by way of a not often used congressional veto.
The administration official mentioned it could reduce the sector’s methane output by about 75 %.
The administration can even announce at the moment that the Inside Division will introduce a brand new rule limiting venting and flaring throughout pure fuel manufacturing on federal lands.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Supplies Security Administration will suggest a sequence of guidelines that “will considerably cowl their 3 million miles of pipelines,” the administration official mentioned.
Security rules being rolled out at the moment by the PHMSA will embrace 400,000 miles of beforehand unregulated gathering traces, he mentioned, with stepped up necessities for inspection and restore.
The EPA guidelines, which Biden included in his “Day One” govt order on local weather change, requires extra frequent inspections for leakage than have been included below the Obama administration’s rule, they usually mandate using extra superior emission-reducing gear.
EPA mentioned final night time that it’ll embrace a complete monitoring program for brand new and current nicely websites and compressor stations, a requirement for zero-emissions pneumatic controllers, and a crackdown on venting of fuel in oil manufacturing.
At present’s actions come as Congress continues to mull enactment of a brand new payment on energy-sector methane.
Whereas the payment has little trade help, giant segments of the oil and fuel sector in recent times have gotten behind direct federal regulation of methane of their operations.
However there may be little trade help for a levy on methane emissions.
“I don’t assume it provides to the effectiveness of the regulatory program,” mentioned Lee Fuller, govt vp of the Impartial Petroleum Affiliation of America. He added that there was an “inequity concern: our methane emissions versus everybody else’s.”
Different sectors like landfills and agriculture additionally launch methane. However environmentalists and the administration stress that by growing the quantity of fuel it may carry to market, oil and fuel stands to make cost-effective—and even cost-positive—reductions.
“I feel we’re beginning with the sector the place there’s a a lot clearer understanding of the choices to resolve this drawback and the associated fee and effectiveness of these options,” mentioned John Coequyt, U.S. authorities director for RMI. “After which there might be a transfer to broaden that and start to deal with all sources of methane emissions.”
Thirty % of U.S. methane comes from oil and fuel manufacturing, from nicely to wheel. And methane is second solely to carbon dioxide as a driver of local weather change—chargeable for at the very least 1 / 4 of at the moment’s warming.
Reprinted from E&E Information with permission from POLITICO, LLC. Copyright 2021. E&E Information offers important information for vitality and surroundings professionals.